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Shamu Acting Strange?


gardengirl

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My big Calico Ryukin, Shamu, is acting strange tonight. He's swimming in the bubble streams, turning upside down and floating back up to the top of the tank....

This is the big show fish I got at the goldfish show earlier this fall. I bought two from the same dealer and lost one as soon as I got home. This Big Calico has always acted somewhat "challenged". He has always moved very erratically through the water -- doing death spirals to the bottom of the tank -- nearly crashing and going sideways at the last minute. It takes your breath away, darn fish. I swear, just as I think he's going to crash head-on into the glass he veers off..... Sometimes he'll swim sideways, backwards, circular..... you name it.

I did a tank change today and the other two fish seem fine, but I worry about him. He's big-bodied and I swear his mind is not all there. I heard from another fish keeper that the shipment I bought from at that show came in very stressed out. The fish were not seasoned well and there were all kinds of problems. Not what I wanted to hear after I bought very expensive fish!

The little Ranchu I got from another dealer is doing terrific. Should I be worried about my big calico, Shamu?????

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Gardengirl, a lot of times these fish are indeed very stressed - not only from the show itself, and all the new tank and water conditions, but also from the travel to the show. And sometimes, the fish weren't at the dealer's place very long. A lot of dealers order a large shipment of fish just before a show to have something to sell. If those fish have been spending too much time on airplanes close in time, and especially with bigger fish, they might have swim bladder problems due to so many pressure changes. Big fish do really poorly with shipping, and not all shippers do know how to pack.

Personally I think it often has to do with the lack of oxygen during the travel - big fish do need a lot of it, and are easier stressed of course if the supply gets low. Some might literally be braindamaged from lack of oxygen. I had one, who wasn't even that big, and the trip wasn't long, just a 30 minute car ride, but it was a very hot day (in the low 100's), and I originally planned to run some more errands after buying the fish. After looking at his behavior in the bag, I drove straight home. He was a weird fish afterwards, kind of like yours - running into things, doing strange summer saults and stuff. It never got any better, and I was just stuck with a "special" fish.

How big was your water change today? Maybe Shamu can't handle larger ones. :unsure:

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I heard that those show fish were shipped from Singapore for the show. A fellow koi-board member said they were in severe stress when I posted on another board that I lost the $40 oranda as soon as I got home. It just curled up to the intake and was dead the next morning. The dealer said he'd replace the fish and I asked if I could get a new one next spring. He said sure. But this calico ryukin has never acted normal.

Anyway, Shamu is my "canary in the coal mine." I definitely think he was oxygen deprived or something because he acts so strange. He is not "right", but we love him.

I tested ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH this evening when I noticed the erratic behavior. The ammonia was slightly elevated. I mean it was just a tiny shade deeper than the yellow that it normally is.... What's strange though is the nitrite and nitrate. Both were slightly elevated. The nitrite was .25 and the nitrate was 5 ppm. I couldn't believe it since I just did a water change today and this is an established tank! Maybe I was overfeeding this last week? I have no idea.

SO, I double dosed PRIME to neutralize the nitrite and nitrate and deal with the ammonia. Shamu is acting a lot more normal now, about an hour later. He's not nearly as erratic. The poor thing...... I swear I had no idea how this happened -- especially after a water change. I even tested the tap water, thinking the water company was messing around again, but it's zero for everything (high pH as usual though)..... Luckily, you can dose up to five times the normal dose of PRIME to detoxify the nitrate and nitrite -- I LOVE that stuff!

I also pulled up the Python hose from the basement. If they aren't better by tomorrow morning, I'm doing another big water change, using the PRIME again, and adding salt......

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Sorry, Andrea, I see that I neglected to respond to your water change question. I changed about 2/3 of the tank -- 60%, which is a little more than the 50% I normally do.... I was also scrubbing A LOT of brown algae off the sides of the tank and the water was clouded for awhile after the change. Maybe the diatomaceous algae overwhelmed the bio-wheel/filter??? I have no clue.

The Calico is still acting strange this morning, but he did eat his Sunday Peas. :) I'm going to test again and do another water change after I drink another cup of caffeine and wake up. :) :) :)

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